Content Warning: Violence, murder, Homophobia.
Alireza Fazeli Monfared, a gay man, has reportedly been murdered by his brother and cousins in Iran last week because of homophobia. He was 20 years old.
His sexuality was discovered by his family when his military exemption service card arrived. In Iran military service is mandatory but a person can be excused if they are gay. IranWire reports that Monfared was not home when the card arrived and his brother saw it. It has been reported that he was then taken by his brother and some other family members to the nearby town of Borumi under the pretext that his father wanted to speak with him. They then beheaded him.
Rest in peace Alireza Fazeli Monfared. This 20-year-old beautiful soul from Iran was brutally killed by his brother & cousins for being gay as part of an honour killing.
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) May 8, 2021
Aghil Abyat, Monfared’s close friend, told IranWire that Monfared’s mother was called by his stepbrother and informed of the murder and the location of the body which was taken to a medical examiner. She was then taken to the hospital in shock.
6Rang’s report states that after Alireza’s body was found under the trees, three suspects were arrested and a case against them was opened in court. Two of the three were said to have been Alireza’s cousins.
His friend, Abyat told IranWire: “Nothing is more difficult than to never be able to see him, or hear his voice, forever. This is an excruciating pain that will remain in my heart to the end of time.
“The soil where the palm trees stand will hold the aroma of your blood forever. As long as the palms soar to the sky they will stand as witnesses to your murder. And if a flower grows there, it will be in appreciation of your blood, that was so unjustly shed.”
Monfared had plans to flee Iran to join his boyfriend in Turkey before his death.
“Alireza’s killing as a result of his sexual orientation being stated on his military service [exemption] card has once again provided proof for our warning several years ago about the risks caused by the military service exemption process for gay Iranian men and underlines the need for legislation to prevent these safety risks,” activist group 6rang said in a statement.
Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad said on Twitter: “Through its homophobic laws, anti-gay propaganda, and light sentences for honour killings, the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for facilitating the murder of countless members of the LGBTQ community in Iran.”
If you are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Mental Health Ireland
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